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Air Cadets grounded?

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Air Cadets grounded?

Old 20th Jun 2019, 09:23
  #4821 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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But it's not just the Air Cadets infected by this risk paralysis. My gliding club has just been approached by a local school to offer them some glider flights on an activity day. Happy to help, except I now have to jump through the hoop of a 4-page questionnaire with 32 questions covering such diverse topics as
Do we have a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, GDPR Compliance statement, Waiver policy, Insurance, H&S Policy, Vehicles, Staffing policies, Accommodation, Sub-Contracting, Adventure Activities Licence, Staff Recruitment and Training Policy.....
Well I could go on. Just imagine the questionnaire author's face turning ashen if I sought to describe a winch launch and its inherent risks on the questionnaire.
I was sorely tempted to reply "You know what, we really can't be ar*ed", were it not for the fact that I'm a flying evangelist and would like some of these kids to have the same opportunities extended to me 40 years ago.
Hey ho !
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 10:56
  #4822 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Chug,

Thank you for coming back - I thought I should respond to your post.

I don't think that I have ever said that the UK's problems with military airworthiness were ever 'a scandal solely affecting the RAF'. I certainly agree with you that the problems caused in the 1980s within the MoD have filtered down to all operators of UK military aircraft, across all three services. But for this thread, that's not, in my view, the point.

The problems with the ATC glider fleet are, in my view, an RAF owned problem because this was an RAF procured, owned, operated and maintained fleet of aircraft. As this thread is about the ATC glider issue, I've posted to try to help discussion of what went wrong - and in this case, it went wrong within the RAF. I'd also add this observation: most of the things that went wrong with the glider fleet went wrong at first and second line, not within the upper reaches of the MoD. Very few VSOs were involved, whatever the colour of their stripes.

What has begun to emerge is a failure of people at first and second line to do their basic jobs. Maintenance wasn't properly supervised. Repairs weren't properly recorded. Airworthiness critical documentation weren't properly maintained and archived. Ageing aircraft audit recommendations weren't implemented. Damaged aircraft weren't repaired. And so on. To repeat - this sort of stuff was and is the responsibility of SO1s, SO2s, SO3s, Chief Technicians and so on across the chain. And the really big concern should be whether these failings are specific to the ATC fleet, or are systemic across the service.

I always try to stay away from subjective inter-service comparisons on these threads. I apologise if you feel I've not managed that this time.

Best Regards as ever to all those STILL trying to pick up the pieces,

Engines
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 13:01
  #4823 (permalink)  
 
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Gliding in 2019?



What is this obsession with Gliding in relation to potential aircrew in the military? How relevant is gliding to flying a Typhoon/Lightning/Voyager/Chinook/Posiedon? Surely gliding is a minority hobby indulged in by a tiny percentage of the population. Even back in the 60's when I went through it I do not recall a single mention of gliding by any of my contemporaries at AOTS/FTS's/OCU etc.

Is it at all of any relevance in 2019?

Should we be spending ANY of the MoD budget on it?

Aren't there still many MANY applications for each and every single pilot place in the training pipeline?
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 13:37
  #4824 (permalink)  
 
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Engines, thanks for responding. With respect (and that is not just an empty phrase!), I feel it is always essential in regard to airworthiness to emphasise the wood for the trees. The MOD's default treatment of airworthiness related fatal air accidents is to stovepipe them and to obscure the common thread that connects them all, the totally dysfunctional UK Military Air Safety system that exists under its Regulator, the MAA, aka the MOD.

Of course, it takes incompetence of heroic levels to render such simple airframes as the ATC Gliders unairworthy, rendered as they were thus by the Royal Air Force. That incompetence though stems directly from the disintegration of a competent regulatory body, caused by the deliberate subversion and suborning of the Regulations and those whose mandated duty it was to implement them in full.

By saying this was an RAF owned problem we are doing the MOD's work for them, concentrating on those at the bottom of the food chain when the fundamental cause was the subversion wrought in the late 80s and the cover up ever since. So there were and are VSOs (mainly RAF) at the root of this dysfunction and I must challenge your assertion that:-

Very few VSOs were involved, whatever the colour of their stripes.
The ongoing Cover-Up is the very reason for the incompetence that you rightly highlight for the appalling state of the RAF ATC gliders. It has prevented meaningful reform of UK Military Air Regulation and Accident Investigation. Instead of the real independence necessary to prevent repeated interference by vested interests in both functions we have the Ersatz fake MOD interdependent MAA and MilAAIB (or whatever it's called this week). Thus those VSOs responsible for the initial subversion are protected, and thus airworthiness related air accidents (often fatal) continue.

Thank God that wasn't (AFAIK) the case with the ATC Gliders, but to consider them alone rather than as part of a UK Military Air Safety scandal connecting all three Services is to congratulate the Starboard Watch for their far superior arranging of deck-chairs while the Good Ship hurtles ever on at top speed. This isn't about inter Service anything. This is about life and death. If we don't get that, then aviation has a habit of reminding us all in very short order.

Last edited by Chugalug2; 20th Jun 2019 at 13:47.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 15:39
  #4825 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Gliding in 2019?



What is this obsession with Gliding in relation to potential aircrew in the military? How relevant is gliding to flying a Typhoon/Lightning/Voyager/Chinook/Posiedon? Surely gliding is a minority hobby indulged in by a tiny percentage of the population. Even back in the 60's when I went through it I do not recall a single mention of gliding by any of my contemporaries at AOTS/FTS's/OCU etc.

Is it at all of any relevance in 2019?

Should we be spending ANY of the MoD budget on it?

Aren't there still many MANY applications for each and every single pilot place in the training pipeline?
All I can say in reply to you is that I genuinely feel my gliding experience made me a far better powered pilot than I would otherwise have been.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 17:57
  #4826 (permalink)  
 
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prOOne

I think there are two different things here. First and foremost, if it is MoD policy to fund/support ATC gliding, then it must be done properly (see Engines' post) regardless of individual opinion on whether it is money well spent. That policy decision places a legal obligation on many MoD staff, and it has been serially ignored. Not only ignored, but conscious false declarations made that it has been met.

It is of relevance because the gliders share a Type Airworthiness Authority with, for example, Hawk. Not entirely tongue in cheek, I have suggested before that this thread be merged with the Cunningham one. Same people, same problems, same solution. Only real challenge is finding someone with practical experence of implementing the mandated regs that would have prevented both. Last time anyone was trained on this was around the time Engines was doing the Serco contract he mentioned. That's no coincidence. Today, I'd show the contractor DGDQA Standing Instruction 0136; they'd breathe a sigh of relief and get on with it. On this type of work there are 3 bibles; 0136, DefCon 112 (Repair) and Def Stan 05-125/2. Let me know if you find anyone in DE&S who can find a copy. Every project officer or manager involved in support should know them by heart.

I would just add one thing to the recent debate, which I've said before. One must look at root causes. (Those that, if removed, would have prevented the problem). At what level were they notified? Initially, direct to a 2 Star (ACAS) and 3 Star (RAF Chief Engineer) by the RAF Director of Flight Safety (a 1 Star).

When Mr Haddon-Cave reported, he simply repeated DFS' notifications; although omitted this gem and took the credit. Only four of his 90+ recommendations were rejected. Most of the rest were already mandated. That automatically places the problem at a very senior level.
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 15:41
  #4827 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
 
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What is this obsession with Gliding in relation to potential aircrew in the military?
Hermann G and the Luftwaffe did quite well out of ex-glider pilots IIRC....

...... and some still flew gliders too, eg Eben Emael (sp?)
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 22:06
  #4828 (permalink)  
 
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USE OF GLIDING

One of the facets of ATC GLIDING (in the days of minimum dual and max solo's) was it encompassed so much for youth to adhere to.
It had a good balance of discipline against enthusiasm, and promoted decision making at an early stage. It needed confidence with capability, and also bought out what we would now call networking with Cadets helping other Cadets to master the system.
There are no negative issues with regard to learning some good basic aviation ways, and the system was flexible enough to not get overburdened with the now ruinous box ticking of today.
Had we merely stopped using open cockpit fretwork fighters and gone to a medium performance metal or glass machine in a simple change then we would still be doing the same job with perhaps a couple of extra dual launches, and a simple flight guide that the Cadets could refer to prior to attending a school.
Even the RAF were surprised how students on the 'all jet courses' coped so well despite the comprehensive 'check lists' that had to be learnt.
If you are not told something is difficult its amazing how people cope.
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Old 23rd Jun 2019, 09:22
  #4829 (permalink)  
 
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Pobjoy is right. The ATC was never seen as a source of pilots for the RAF. The main thrust was the character development of the youngsters who joined. The teaching of flying and then going solo were very good at doing this but was almost incidental. I was in several gliding clubs over the years and I seldom met anyone who had been in the ATC except as a volunteer instructor. Gliding was and still is an expensive activity well beyond the means of most young people. I reckon anyone who can ride a bicycle can be taught to fly, and solo in a simple machine like a glider.
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Old 23rd Jun 2019, 10:29
  #4830 (permalink)  
 
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When I left the RAF as a pilot with an 'Exceptional' rating, I had over 2000 hrs P1 Chippies & Bulldogs and had been an A2 Chippy/Bulldog QFI. I was in current fly practice and medically fit. So I suggested that my local ATC air experience unit might like my services. Oh no, they said, I would have to go to Cranwell to be assessed, do officer training etc etc. All that despite the fact that I had previously flown countless cadets in air experience Chippies over the years. So I forgot it. Later, I offered (at my expense) flights in my C of A certified Bulldog. 'Impossible, no chance' was the response. Seems to me that obstacles grow larger every day.
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Old 23rd Jun 2019, 18:00
  #4831 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Olympia463 View Post
Gliding was and still is an expensive activity well beyond the means of most young people. .
Not sure where you got that idea. My son went solo for less than we spend on our Sky subscription in a year - and we have no movies or sport.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 06:40
  #4832 (permalink)  
 
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Given the plethora of basic handling errors that seem to occur at the highest levels of aviation ( i.e. heavy RTP) I think some gliding for all pilots is probably a good idea! Exposure to stall/spin handling & what a rudder is for (rather than taxiing!) can only help.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 13:25
  #4833 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: United Kingdom
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Gliding in 2019?

Gliding in 2019?
What is this obsession with Gliding in relation to potential aircrew in the military?
It seems we are not alone in thinking that a glider pilot will make a better pilot in the long run. Air France will soon be sending up to 80 cadets per year to learn the basics of flight with DG1000 state of the art training two seat gliders. In the course of 50 flights the young pilots learn all necessary manoeuvres including basic aerobatics and recovery of dangerous flight situations. More than 60 DG-1000 and DG-1001 are in use for training purposes in Air Forces, such as the United States Air Force or the Australian Air Force. Read about it here.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 21:09
  #4834 (permalink)  
 
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Basic Gliding good for decision making

Those of us lucky enough to have experienced Cadet gliding at its best were not aware at the time what it gave us in addition to the 'Solo' bit.
From day one you got 'hands on' with both machinery and actual aircraft, and were expected to be part of the system.
Result a generation of 'youths' that accepted decision making and responsibility as the norm, leading to a head start in the wide world outside.
One of our staff cadets had solo'd in the MK3. his next solos followed :- Beagle Pup. Jet Provost, Hunter, lightning.!!! His basic training in the fretwork fighter did not seem to have restricted anything, even if the decisions got more interesting.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 12:44
  #4835 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveUnwin View Post
Hi GliFly, I heard a whisper that the ATC were actively discouraging cadets from flying with civil clubs. I also heard that when approached by some civil clubs about flying cadets the ATC insisted that only Full Cat Instructors could fly cadets. Can anyone confirm or refute this?
It was pretty much always the case. I was an OC for about ten years and in all that time there was just one (failed) attempt at getting cadets into civvy flying seats and I remain convinced to this day that HQAC actively encouraged the project to wither on the vine as it wasn't their idea. Even with a Sqn located next to an airport, fixed wing flying school and heliport we couldn't (officially) use any spare seats, so cadets and parents were advised in writing that anything that they did with such companies etc was not through the Corps and not covered by insurance etc - that it was a completely private and independent venture on their part.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 12:49
  #4836 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pegpilot View Post
But it's not just the Air Cadets infected by this risk paralysis. My gliding club has just been approached by a local school to offer them some glider flights on an activity day. Happy to help, except I now have to jump through the hoop of a 4-page questionnaire with 32 questions covering such diverse topics as
Do we have a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, GDPR Compliance statement, Waiver policy, Insurance, H&S Policy, Vehicles, Staffing policies, Accommodation, Sub-Contracting, Adventure Activities Licence, Staff Recruitment and Training Policy.....
Well I could go on. Just imagine the questionnaire author's face turning ashen if I sought to describe a winch launch and its inherent risks on the questionnaire.
I was sorely tempted to reply "You know what, we really can't be ar*ed", were it not for the fact that I'm a flying evangelist and would like some of these kids to have the same opportunities extended to me 40 years ago.
Hey ho !
A certain former Group Captain who may or may not have been the topic of discussion elsewhere in this thread once demanded that a caving group we were sending cadets to identify the precise staff and their qualifications that would supervise the cadets on the day FOUR MONTHS IN ADVANCE! A list of all of the centre's instructors was unacceptable and for a long time the activity was in jeopardy. For some reason he relented eventually - and as memory serves with a common sense compromise that we suggested - but again I had made myself into a thorn in his side.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 14:04
  #4837 (permalink)  
 
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The ATC taught me to fly gliders (Alf Warminger at Swanton Morley, Square (=S/L Ware) at Marham.
Flew once, with my father, in some metal glider somewhere in Germany.
After that my career was Space industry, so it didn't lead to a flying career for me.
Still it was a valuable experience, strange days before H&S.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 21:51
  #4838 (permalink)  
 
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ALF WARMINGER

There was a wonderful tale in an old S&G magazine which related to the said A Warminger and P Scott after they had landed out in some competition.
Plod arrived on scene and demanded to see their 'licences' . We don't have licences as there are none for gliding was the reply. Ok then we better take the aircraft registrations ! They don't have registrations because they are Gliders.
Righto then lets have some names and address's.
Sir Peter Scott, and this gentleman is The High Sheriff of Norwich (which he actually was)
Plod retires muttering.
Similar scenario to when a small Turbulent landed at Kenly with an engine issue. Staff Cadet at the winch end was already assisting the pilot by removing the cowling to investigate (based on fact that he drove a VW car) upon which a veritable cavalcade of cars arrived from launch end with assorted pilot and flying officer instructors. After berating the hapless individual and pointing out the dangers of landing at a gliding site a note book was produced and said pilots name requested. This caused the chap to suggest this was rather over the top as he had a power failure. Non the less a certain u/t pilot officer insisted on the information and stood poised with pen and notebook. Oh very well our friend sighed, I am Wing Commander XXXXXX a Hunter pilot currently at MOD !!. Impressive coming to attention and multiple salutes followed by said staff cadet being told to carry on assisting. Staff Cadet still falling over laughing about it weeks later.
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 07:07
  #4839 (permalink)  
622
 
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Just hijacking this slightly (POBJOY's post above brought back a memory)…
I was attending my Initial Officers Holiday at Newton back in the early 90's, I had arrived early so thought I would go to the bar.
On arriving there was one other person there...early evening on a Sunday night the whole place was quiet. I thought I would be polite and start a conversation with something like " Hello, are you here on a course to?"..to which I got a very short "Yes"..and not much else....
A very quiet, and what seemed like an age passed before another person arrived and I got talking to them...the other quiet chap I recall sat in the corner on his own until he left.

Next morning we were all leaving the mess to go to the Air Cadet School of Officer excellence when said very quiet man is also leaving in uniform this time with many gold rings up his arm and a whole entourage of bag carriers and brolly holders outside.
We instantly all saluted, but he recognised me and came over and shook my hand before he left....cue many strange looks!

It turned out later he was a very senior Officer from I think somewhere like Romania or Bulgaria...but hardly spoke any English...hence the lack of chat!
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 08:18
  #4840 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pegpilot View Post
But it's not just the Air Cadets infected by this risk paralysis. My gliding club has just been approached by a local school to offer them some glider flights on an activity day. Happy to help, except I now have to jump through the hoop of a 4-page questionnaire with 32 questions covering such diverse topics as
Do we have a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, GDPR Compliance statement, Waiver policy, Insurance, H&S Policy, Vehicles, Staffing policies, Accommodation, Sub-Contracting, Adventure Activities Licence, Staff Recruitment and Training Policy.....
Well I could go on. Just imagine the questionnaire author's face turning ashen if I sought to describe a winch launch and its inherent risks on the questionnaire.
I was sorely tempted to reply "You know what, we really can't be ar*ed", were it not for the fact that I'm a flying evangelist and would like some of these kids to have the same opportunities extended to me 40 years ago.
Hey ho !
Welcome to youth activities in the 2010s. Sadly, much of this has been brought about following tragedies involving young people (Snowdon, Lyme Regis, Loch Carnan etc). It's pretty much about ensuring people follow the rules as well as having the rules in the first place, so everything needs to be risk assessed properly and documented.

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